Macomb Community College’s new electric vehicle development technology certificate program opens doors to growing career field

– Thursday, May 9, 2013 1:00AM

Information session on May 13 and June 3 provide overview of program

With more than 2.6 million hybrid and electric vehicles already on the road in the U.S. today, energy prices, environmental concerns and fuel economy targets are expected to continue to drive demand – and jobs in the industry for those with the right skills.  Macomb Community College’s new electric vehicle (EV) development technology certificate helps prepare individuals for these growing opportunities, including development technician, electrical test technician and manufacturing technician in the automotive sector as well as in the communications, solar, wind turbine and smart grid industries. 

The college is holding information sessions about the program on Monday, May 13, 6 to 8 p.m. and Monday, June 3, 3 to 5 p.m. at the John Lewis Community Center (K Building) on the college’s South Campus in Warren.  The sessions provide an overview of the program, job opportunities, program selection process and funding, and perspectives about the program from a student currently in the program.

The EV certificate program, which is tuition free to qualified students, is funded through a U.S. Department of Labor grant, with priority given to unemployed veterans and displaced workers.  The 28-credit program takes one year to complete.

Macomb’s EV development technology certificate program is endorsed by the Michigan Academy of Green Mobility Alliance (MAGMA), which also provided the impetus for its development to help ensure the automotive industry has the trained workers it needs to prosper in the emerging green economy.  MAGMA is a partnership between the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth and automotive manufacturing industry employers.

“Fuel economy targets and the need to ‘fuel the grid’ are driving the need to have people properly trained in EV technology,” said Tony Tisler of MAGMA.  “This technology is new so employment opportunities are growing in development, design, testing and production for areas such as battery cell/battery pack, high voltage safety, electric motors, power electronics, DC-DC conversion and controls and calibration.”

Don Hodinka, 37, of Clinton Township, is a former middle school teacher who enrolled in the program hoping to “stop the vicious cycle of unemployment” that he had experienced throughout six years in the education field. He is a student in the program’s inaugural class and currently is halfway through the program.

“It’s been a process of expanding my knowledge, and it has tested my math skills,” said Hodinka.  “We do a lot of work as teams, and most of the projects involve a lot of technology.”

Hodinka notes that “it helps to have a passion for the automotive field” and that the program is not for the “faint of heart.”

“The courses in this program focus on foundational skills and involve a lot of critical thinking,” said Joseph Petrosky, dean, Engineering & Advanced Technology at Macomb Community College.  “We formulated some of the classes specifically for the certificate, and some existed previously in the college’s curriculum.  This is a compressed schedule in which students attend classes from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., five days a week.”

For more information about the EV development technology certificate program, contact Julie Harper at 586.445.7432.  To register for either information session, go to www.macomb.edu/infosession

About Macomb Community College

Macomb Community College (www.macomb.edu)  is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 48,000 students annually.  Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded and as the largest grantor of associate degrees in Michigan.  The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.

Media Contact: Tish Wirth, 586.445.7560, wirthp@macomb.edu

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